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Boomkat Product Review:
Arch techno goth Vatican Shadow delivers Berghain’s annual mix, vacillating new and vintage selections with cherry-picked cuts from his unrivalled collection of industrial cassette rarities.
Vatican Shadow is a relatively late stage alias for Dominick Fernow, who unmistakably made his name as noise beast Prurient and boss of Hospital Productions since 1997. As the noise scene ran out of conceptual energy around 10 years ago, Dominick found his calling on the ‘floor, forming Vatican Shadow as a vent for his rhythm-focussed industrial music concerns. The project would coalesce around militant drum patterns that found their way into various DJ sets, and Vatican Shadow became a key part of the whole industrial/EBM/darkwave resurgence witnessed over the best part of this decade.
With ‘Berghain 09’ Fernow makes his influences and affiliations explicit across the mix and in two accompanying EPs of exclusive gear, collected here. Opening and closing with Genesis P-Orridge mantras ‘Ritual Music’ and ‘One Being, One Orientation, One Power’, he trawls rolling EBM/techno from Juan Mendez (Silent Servant) as Los Angeles Death Cult, the blitzkreig of ‘Venom Timetables’ with Ancient Methods and Regis’ Ugandan Methods, and the agitated pound of ‘Decontrol’ from JK Flesh, while Hospital Productions' Alberich slams out the thistly banger ‘Werkstatt’ along with ‘Colt Neck’ from Ron Morelli, and a handful of distended noise loops by Merzbow.